These may not be valid questions, or mature – but they are honest ones. And I rejoice in worshipping a God who made himself visible. God may have hoped humanity would understand her nearness and feel her love through messages and messengers, but in the fullness of time God entered human life in a radical way, specifically and particularly. That is the heart of this week’s good news for me:
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
That word “dwelt” can be rendered “abided with” or, most literally “pitched tent among.” The story of God, so far away, so holy, so “other,” moving into our neighborhood and settling down so that we can draw near – that’s a story that never gets old. I feel frustrated in how to convey it as Good News to a people for whom it has become hum-drum, and to others for whom “God” is entirely irrelevant, but I believe it is the heart of the gift Christians have for the world.
I know it’s hard for us to “see” that Word made flesh in our time, risen and ascended into heaven as he is, but through his Spirit we are able to know him in relationship. I will continue to seek to get inside that mystery and discover the “Word made flesh” who wants to know me and be known by me.
As Madeleine L’Engle wrote in her poem, “First Coming” (printed in full in the note I sent yesterday):
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.